Thanks to the advent of the Internet, people are active online more than ever – serving as the best source of opportunities, revenue, and much more for the web-based businesses. And then the ever-changing development is the reason behind the major shift in customer’s buying decisions! Especially for businesses that survive on marketing, the changing trends in the way customers are making their purchasing decision play a key role in success.
Marketing in the digital era, is thus, more brainstorming ideas than putting cash. The present-day customer looks forward to Google or their friend base on social networks for any problem with a product, service, or almost anything. It implies the fundamentals of marketing in this digital age have changed from interpersonal to virtual!
This shift has led to the change in the way marketers approach their potential customers and optimize the channels they use in the process. From radio spots and TV commercials to other non-value advertising mediums – all of them are declining in popularity and relevance gave the modern customer gets easily annoyed with the interruption marketing.
The days of “wait…you will get 50% super duper scooper off if you order NOW” are long gone – and we are totally happy about that!
Marketing in the digital age calls for value-added content at its core – content that informs, educates the customer and solves their problems/pain points before forcing their business, product, or service.
So while the BUY NOW tactic of traditional marketing is still there, the complete marketing lifecycle now is much more evolved and organized.
4 Stages of Digital Marketing Explained:
Stage 1: Attraction – Turning Strangers into Visitors
Because everything starts from attraction!
Your priority number one as an online business is to be actively present on all the major search engines and social media networks so when your target audience has an issue or seeking a solution – you are there to help and make that first impression! The digital customer automatically switches to Google or their favored social media channel as soon as they run an issue, and if a company/business shows up to provide a solution or help is a brilliant way of building that relationship.
Here’s some insight on elements to convert the stranger into visitors:
- PPC Advertising
- Thought Leadership using Optimized (Informative/Engaging) Blogging
- SMM and Advertising
Stage 2: Conversion – Turning Visitors Into Leads
Conversions now are all about providing additional value!
By this phase, the customer already has researched and come to your website to find the solution for their pain point. This is the point where the cost of traditional marketing companies skips the golden chance to build that trust relationship with their client base. We bet most of the companies from yesteryear have that one, predictable & typical CTA on their site – CONTACT US.
That’s just like proposing someone on the very first date. Well, you do dress up and look nice, but you don’t wish to marry at first sight. Then why make your customers feel so?
Umm…Can I know you a lil more first?
That’s exactly what your potential customers think when they land on your website. The innovative and savvy businesses know how to start a relationship by first providing them with additional value. It can be anything – e-books, guides. Webinars, checklists for the sake of their email address/number. This makes it an equal deal (a WIN-WIN) for both parties – you and your customers.
Elements that are necessary for converting visitors to leads:
- Well-designed Website
- Retargeting in place
- Attractive/relevant CTA
- Dedicated Lead Generation Pages
- Value Content
Stage 3: Close – Turning Leads to Customers
Time to nurture the relationship!
So the relationship is active now and the customers are getting the need info about their problems and your company is establishing that trust bond and exemplifying the expertise to the customer.
Well, with mediums like email nurturing, checklists and guides, webinars, and more – a business can request its leads more info. But you need to wait will the potential customer is willing to take the next step and the customer. What you can do is set up specific indicators – like on customers visiting the price page or spending more than a minute or so on the product/service page just to confirm they are qualified leads. This will let you take the next formal action like a call or email request for a meeting. With the perfect balance of analyzing user behavior, creating user action-based triggers, and marketing automation – businesses can wait till their potential customers are convinced to talk or meet.
Key elements to help turn leads into customers:
- Email Nurturing
- Close-loop Reporting
Stage 4: Advocate – Turning Customers Into Advocates
Improving & optimizing the process – spreading the word!
So now when your business and customers have come across all the stages – attraction, building a relationship, and then doing business together, it comes the time to make sure it was a worth the effort on your end and price on your customers’ end. So how do you everyone is happy with the process?
The best way do that is by requesting customers feedback from the existing customer base. While the traditional marketing couldn’t do much for this, digital marketing has made it possible to ask your customers share their feedback regarding the product or service delivered in a moment via online surveys, reviews, and more. This allows businesses the scope to improve and optimize their product, service, or process in future to deliver better customer experience. The more refined this process becomes, the more your customer advocate your products, services, brand, and reputation. Your customers are motivated to share reviews, thought leadership with peers, and help promote your business.
Key elements to turn customers into advocates:
- Online Surveys
- Consistent Nurturing
- Social Monitoring
So now you know how marketing undergoes the refined processes in the digital age to suit the ever-changing customers’ purchasing decisions. It’s time now to think of some innovative tips to make most of your digital marketing errands.
Ways to Get More Value From Digital Marketing:-
As per the stats shared on Gartner, by the year 2020, 80 percent of consumer interaction will be operated without a human. This takes us to stress more on the role AI is playing in the evolving digital marketing practices that can help make more from the existing consumers and resources.
Automated/Virtual Customer Interaction:
Wise use of AI can help businesses interact with their customers. Talk about automated live chat, in-app assistance, automated social media monitoring and that’s just a few to name here – all these high-end techs can automate customer/user interaction to scale human intervention.
Adding more personalized elements on your website, like demographics, location data, interaction, personalization, etc. can provide with more conversions and engagement along with relevant experience to the customers. For an account based marketing strategy, this advanced marketing tactic can work wonders.
Intelligent Media Optimization:
AI has made it possible to optimize media buys, make recommendations on media buys, and monitor customer behavior that eventually turns into more revenue and more satisfied customers. Stuffing media teams with human resources and leveraging agencies to optimize media is no closer to an exact science. As time is passing by, artificial intelligence is coming more into the digital marketing world with a more dynamic media capability.
The Bottom Line
As the marketing trends change, so should a business’ digital marketing strategy (also read – 25 digital marketing mistakes businesses do!). It’s need of the hour to stay up-to-date with the emerging and constantly changing the landscape of marketing with the new advancement in technology – that can simplify a digital marketer’s life and amplify the profit!
So what do you think about the info shared above? Feel free to comment, share, and contact us for your valuable feedback!